Carys and Austin are today’s star couple on the English Wedding Blog. They were married at Rushton Hall and were so inspired by the venue they styled their day around it – with tables given aristocratic titles, and a feeling of grandeur and formality being at the heart of all their wedding plans.
Carys wears a beautiful Charlotte Balbier dress which looks divine on her gorgeous figure. The lace and detailing on the wedding dress continues throughout the styling of the day, with crystals and a white and silver theme. Today’s English wedding blog is simply elegant and has that timeless feel so many brides and grooms aspire to. All images are by Sarah Vivienne Photography – a favourite photographer of mine! Do read the wedding report which is full of ideas and advice – I’ll introduce today’s blog post with a special quote from Carys talking about her favourite memories from the day:
“The way my heart raced as I walked down the aisle and greeted Austin at the front, then how I just couldn’t quite get my words out on the second part of my vows, making everyone in church cry.”
Huge congratulations to such a wonderful couple, and thank you to you both for sharing your day on the English Wedding Blog. Thank you also to the very lovely Sarah Vivienne Photography for the submission. Enjoy! Claire xxx
A beautifully traditional English wedding – Carys and Austin at Rushton Hall
Church: St Mary’s, Podington, Bedfordshire.
Reception: Rushton Hall, Rushton, Northamptonshire.
Sarah Vivienne Photography, Northampton, Northamptonshire.
How would you describe your wedding style?
Classic, Vintage, Sophisticated & Grand but with a modern twist.
Invitations and reception stationery:
Wedding Paraphernalia, Rothwell, Northamptonshire.
All of our stationery was themed with white pearl card and silver card, white or silver ribbons, and little crystals.
Wedding Paraphernalia are one of my lovely team of wedding blog sponsors, specialising in elegant and timeless wedding stationery and accessories. Find out more about them and see favourite items and ideas – Elegant wedding stationery by Wedding Paraphernalia
What did you wear?
Bride: Dress: Layla by Charlotte Balbier, Tiara: Miranda Templeton, Veil: From Charlotte Harley Bridal Couture, as was my dress & tiara, Heart of the Shires Shopping Village, Near Weedon, Northamptonshire. Shoes: Ella by Rainbow Club.
Groom: Hired from Warwicks of Wellingborough.
A little about the wedding ceremony:
Our church service started at 11am, it seemed an early wedding was unusual, as a lot of people commented, “isn’t that early”, but we had so much to get in and our reception venue was a good 45 minutes away. We had booked 3 vintage cars, all white ones, so we knew these would take a little longer than a standard car too. We had a 1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, a 1973 Daimler 7 Seater Limousine and a 1968 Jaguar 420, again we wanted to keep with the traditional grand white wedding theme. They were decorated with silver and white ribbons and bows.
I had carefully selected our vicar, our little village church doesn’t have a full time vicar, so we have different vicars that come and take the services on Sundays when they are able to. So I felt this gave me a good idea of which vicar would be able to complete our ceremony without mistakes – how wrong I was with my choice!!! On the day he forgot to input 2 hymns and had to be reminded and he also forgot to say “you may now kiss the bride” so we had to do our own kiss when we could!! It’s given us all something to remember!
There’s a group of ladies in the village that always do the flowers in church, and they asked if we would like them to do our flower displays in the church, so we kindly accepted. The florist that we booked to do all of our other flowers placed some large organza bows on the end of the church pews. It was simple, but effective, we wanted the beauty of the church to be in the forefront and not our decorations.
We had some wicker hampers in the porch of the church, filled with real rose petals; they were white with pink edges on. We invited our guest to take some petals on the way out of the church. Having real rose petals that would biodegrade meant we could throw the confetti within the church grounds – which made for a fantastic photo!
The ceremony flew by us both, but we got some quality time together on our car journey to the reception. Podington church only has 1 working bell, so we couldn’t have a peal of bells chiming as we left, but we did have the one bell rang for us.
Which readings did you choose?
My Mum did a reading of a poem entitled ‘May your love be everlasting’ by Leah. These are the words:
You put each other in a trance
And show your love in its expanse
With something simple as a glance
May your affection be everlasting.
You keep each other safe and warm
Protect each other from the storm
Love could take no truer form
May your devotion be everlasting
You see each other as no one can
Your journey seized hand in hand
Together over sea and land
May your companionship be everlasting.
Your friends have joined here today
And family have come here to say
Each in their own special way
May your love be everlasting.
Austin’s Auntie read the classic: 1. Corinthians. 13. Verses 4-13
My brother read out a prayer that the vicar gave him and our son, Rhys age 9, wrote and read out his own prayer:
Dear God, Thank you for the marriage of my mum and dad. They are very special people, please look after them and make sure they live happily ever after. Amen.
We thought this was very sweet of him & we were so proud of him on the day, it was such a lovely touch. He was quite anxious during the rehearsal, but on the day you would never have know he was nervous! He was also our ring bearer, carrying our wedding rings that were tied onto a ring cushion, and our pageboy, walking in front of me as I went down the aisle.
Tell us a little about your wedding venue styling and details:
Rushton Hall is one of the most beautiful places we have visited, it’s already styled in a gorgeous way, with old paintings, large chandeliers, vintage furniture and plush carpets, curtains & sofas, it’s the typical English stately home, full of history and has been very well maintained.
The hall became our inspiration for our wedding; we decided that we wanted a vintage/traditional feel, with pearls, crystals, ribbons, a white & silver palette, lace and the feeling of grandeur and formality being at the heart of all our plans.
The tables were given names: Duke, Duchess, Lord, Lady, Earl & Countess and Austin & I booked ourselves into the Dukes bedroom suite for the evening – everything is so luxurious there!
We didn’t dress the drawing room at all, where we had our drinks reception; the room is already perfect and full of splendour. We had some pretty party boxes for the children, the girls had silver boxes with white feathers and crystals on them and the boys had silver boxes with top hats on.
The only other item placed in the room was one of the hampers from the church, with a few rose petals in that our guest placed gifts and cards into. This worked perfectly, as it was easy to close and manoeuvre both on the day and afterwards, we have kept it with all of our cards & keep sakes in from the day.
We had our wedding breakfast in the library, which has a lot of colour in it, brown oak bookcases filled with old books, brown oak panelling on the walls and red & green decorations on the curtains, carpets and walls. Again we wanted the room to be the star of the show, so to highlight the grandeur we hired some vintage crystal candelabras and had our florist place roses around them, one candelabra on each table and we lit the candles during the breakfast.
On each table we scattered a few crystals, each guest had a mini silver pail, filled with white heart shaped chocolates, with a mini thank you tag on them, tied on with silver ribbon. Each guest had their own individual menu, which doubled up as place settings. We had a large old easel stand with our main table plan on, which again featured our white pearl & silver card, crystals and white ribbons.
We were lucky to have good weather, as our wedding was during the cold snap of snow & ice. Being so lucky with the weather meant we managed to get photos both inside and outside. The courtyard was full with sunshine and we managed to get all of our guest photos taken there.
Austin and I had most of our photos down by the lake, as he proposed to me there and it’s one of the reasons why we wanted to have our wedding at Rushton Hall. It holds such a special place on our hearts, and it feels very romantic when we are there, something that we wanted to share with our family & friends, and they certainly were wowed by its surroundings!
Wedding music and entertainment:
At the church we had an organist play, his name is David Gibbs and he’s the head of music at a private school. We had the classic Bridal Chorus by Wagner coming into the church and The Wedding March by Mendelssohn when leaving. We liked 4 hymns and when we asked the vicar which ones we should have, he loved 4 of them – so we ended up having them all!
- Love Divine (the Welsh version)
- God In The Planning And Purpose Of Life
- As The Deer Pants For The Water
- To God Be The Glory
We had a Champagne & canapés drinks reception in the drawing room at Rushton Hall, and we wanted to have some music that fitted in with our surroundings & formal feel, therefore we booked a string trio called Ariella Strings. We selected a repertoire of classical songs for them to play, which fitted in wonderfully with the opulence of our surroundings and the celebratory occasion of the day.
In the evening we wanted everything very relaxed, to provide an opportunity for all of our guests to talk & wind down after the hectic day endured. We booked the cellar bar at Rushton Hall, which is full of sofas and relaxed lighting, to fit the relaxed feel of our evening we booked a jazz 3 piece called Cate Cody.
Our first dance was to the Etta James song ‘At Last”, we thought it was appropriate as Austin and I went to school together, and this year we have known each other for 20 years.
Memorable wedding day moments:
- The wind picking up at one point and lifting my Cathedral length veil into the air.
- My dad picking off the stickers from my wedding shoes that I mistakenly had left on.
- The way my heart raced as I walked down the aisle and greeted Austin at the front, then how I just couldn’t quite get my words out on the second part of my vows, making everyone in church cry.
- Our son saying, “Oh Mummy, you look beautiful” when he first saw me, as he came outside the church to lead me in.
- The car journey with my Dad as we headed to the church.
- The amazing food & service that we had from Rushton Hall & all of the compliments we had from our guests.
- The funny and touching speeches given by Austin, my dad and the best man.
- My brother, and our master of ceremonies, introducing us into the Library as Mr & Mrs Taylor!
Wedding day advice:
- Put together a comprehensive plan for those people setting up your room so they can place everything they way you would like it.
- Make sure there is one person who you trust to run the day for you on the day, after all the planning and preparation it is good to allow yourself to let go on the day and get others to worry about things. Oh and don’t wear a watch!
- Plan well ahead and get an organiser to write it all down in, buy one with pouches inside and you can keep all your paperwork in one place, it also makes for a wonderful keepsake after the wedding.
- Book the suppliers that can only do one wedding a day first and do it well in advance. This ensures you get the day you really want and not having to compromise because the supplier you want isn’t available. These include reception venue, cars, photographer and hair & make up. Book all of the other suppliers after the key players in the day are booked.
Recommended wedding suppliers:
Photographer: Sarah Vivienne, Northampton
Florist: Julie Anna Flowers, Northampton
Hair & Make Up: Toni Creative, Northampton
Candelabra: Wedding Day Hire, Sandy, Bedfordshire
Cars: Bridal Carriages of Northamptonshire, Thrapston, Northamptonshire
Stationery: Wedding Paraphernalia, Rothwell, Northamptonshire
Wedding Dress & Accessories: Charlotte Harley Bridal Couture, Nr. Weedon, Northamptonshire
Men’s Suit Hire: Warwicks, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
Jazz Band: Cate Cody, Gloucestershire
Strings: Ariella Strings, Milton Keynes
Nails & Eye Lash Extensions: Beauty of Bedford